Live Review: DMA’s at the O2 Forum Kentish Town

****ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN THE UPCOMING**** In the cavernous hall of the Kentish Town Forum, a huge, eclectic crowd, anticipated the DMA’s with a palpable hype. But this electric atmosphere was belied by a modest stage set-up. There was no jungle of instruments and assorted gear, just the usual suspects. The band’s entry was similarly subdued,…

Interview: Nakhane Touré (musician, writer, actor)

Nakhane Touré is a South African artist who has already made a name for himself with his two music albums and his novel (Piggy Boy Blues, 2016), but has recently entered another realm of work: acting. Starring in the controversial, divisive, but very highly-praised The Wound, Touré plays Xolani, a closeted homosexual factory worker. As…

Live Review: Gregory Porter at the Royal Albert Hall

ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN THE UPCOMING A huge and warm welcome awaited Gregory Porter’s modest entrance to the cavernous Royal Albert Hall, which was all but sold out. Throughout the concert this disparity between the devotion of Porter’s audience and his down-to-earth, unassuming character added extra power to his performance. His voice, as rich and vibrant…

Album Review: Boarding House Reach

Jack White’s new album, Boarding House Reach, begins with about as strong an opening as is possible. Everything screams ‘electro-power ballad’, from the title to the majestic harmonies. Reverberating organ notes fill up the background only to be drawn to the fore in a chromatic-filled solo, which in turn is quickly superseded by a grinding,…

Asheville & The Siamese Sound Club (Part II)

“It makes them wanna stop and I’m confident – I’m always confident – that we play to a level and with enough heart behind it that it does pull people in, you know?” It had definitely drawn me in. The whole time I was sat listening to their music, I had struggled to get my head…

Album Review: Rare Birds – Jonathan Wilson

Rare Birds (released last week on Bella Union), is Jonathan Wilson’s third album, and marks an interesting point in his musical career. What that point is, however, is perhaps harder to define. On the one hand, what made his previous work stand out so much is still present, but on the other it’s possible to…

Asheville & The Siamese Sound Club (Part I)

My cycling route in America took me as far south as Asheville, North Carolina. I came to it from the northeast, and almost doubled back, just further over to the east. Knowing that it was the axis of the trip, that afterwards I would be homeward bound, gave it this magical feel: the turning point….

Album Review: Murder Ballads – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Back in 1996, the legendary Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds released yet another masterfully dark album: Murder Ballads. Drawing on a musical tradition that stretches back as far as the mid-17th Century, a collection of ten songs, some traditional and some composed originally by Cave, paint a ghastly picture of the potential violence and…

Live Review – Darlingside at The Courtyard Theatre

The Bostonian quartet Darlingside cast a spell over the crowded basement of the Courtyard Theatre in Shoreditch. Every element of their performance contributed to this, from the charming, funny patter between songs to the use of one old-school microphone in the middle, around which they all crowded. From the beginning, the audience was treated to…

Album Review: Ruins – First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit is comprised of the Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, who have been releasing albums since their debut in 2008, entitled Drunken Trees. They had already gained considerable attention the year before, however, when their self-made song Tangerine was put on the radio and voted one of the best summer songs of…

Album Review: Gentle Spirit by Jonathan Wilson

From the unassumingly-named Jonathan Wilson, the 2011 album Gentle Spirit is a languishing, mind-expanding masterpiece. With only 13 tracks, it is almost a ninety-minute listen: Wilson is not in a rush. The unhurried air of the music is audible throughout, with long, experimental introductions (such as in Desert Raven and Valley of the Silver Moon)…

EP Review: ‘Love Your Self’ by James Rivers Duff

From British guitarist, singer and composer James Rivers Duff, comes Love Your Self, a gentle five-tracked EP expressing personal reflections on life, love and death. Whilst at first listen the tracks might sound somewhat conventional, the way in which Duff is clearly speaking from the heart marks it out as a truly personal project. This…